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Sudan at a turning point, UN warns after attacks in Darfur

United Nations, May 13 (Prensa Latina) The UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths, described the context in Sudan as "at a turning point" in the midst of intensification of the fighting in North Darfur.

The high representative’s warning coincides with the expansion of hostilities between the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the Sudanese army in that demarcation where hundreds of thousands of refugees remain after more than a year of conflict.

In a message posted on Twitter, Griffiths denounced a recent attack that damaged the roof of the intensive care unit of the Southern Hospital in the town of El Fasher, where medical supplies are running dangerously low.

Nearly 800,000 people live in and around the city, where countless lives are at stake, the humanitarian chief added.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Aid (OCHA) estimated that dozens of civilians were killed in new fighting last Friday while control of the city is still in the hands of the Sudanese Army. El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur, is the only town in the area not controlled by the RSF.

OCHA cited air strikes and the use of heavy weapons in describing the fighting that spread to the city center, the outskirts of the main market and the neighborhoods, resulting in new civilian casualties and injuries.

Escalating violence in the vicinity of the city is also obstructing aid access, increasing the risk of famine for civilians caught up in the war.

The UN estimates that nine million people in the Darfur region require humanitarian assistance, while nationally the number of Sudanese in need stands at 24.8 million, almost half of the population.